O’BRIEN COUNTY FATAL ACCIDENT
The Iowa State Patrol reports the second fatal accident in O’Brien County in less than a week. Saturday afternoon, a pickup collided with an SUV at the intersection of B40 and L54, 2 miles east of Primghar. The pickup driver, Laurie Ann Banks, 56, of Sutherland, failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection, and struck the SUV on the drivers side. The SUV driver, 66 year old Mark Stanley Kirkholm of Storm Lake, was not wearing a seat belt, and was partially ejected from the vehicle at the time of impact. He died at the scene. Banks was injured, and transported to Mercy One Primghar for treatment.
LE MARS LIBRARY BOARD
The Le Mars Public Library Board of Trustees meets this afternoon. One of the items on the agenda today is the Director’s report, including some preliminary calculations for new space at the library. One of the board’s action items today includes a designee for the Library’s Space Needs Assessment. The session begins at 5-30 pm.
LE MARS SCHOOL BOARD
The Le Mars Community Schools Board of Directors meets tonight in their regular monthly session. They will precede the meeting with a tour of improvements made this summer at the Le Mars Middle School. The board’s agenda includes information on the Board’s annual introduction of new teachers, scheduled for September. Some personnel items are before the board tonight. They also will consider the Superintendent’s goals for the next year. The meeting will begin at 6 pm at the district education service center.
CLIMATE AND HEALTH BILL
Both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators joined their Republican colleagues in voting against the Democrats’ package of climate and health proposals. Senator Joni Ernst is among the Republicans who unsuccessfully offered amendments to the bill. She offered an additional restriction on the 75-hundred dollar subsidies for electric vehicle purchases.
Ernst says the critical minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries are mined in areas of Africa where some companies have a history of using child labor.
Her proposal failed on a party-line vote. Senator Chuck Grassley offered an amendment to modify the federal tax deduction Americans in high-tax states may claim. Grassley unsuccessfully proposed increasing the deduction for student loan interest and the child and dependent care tax credits.
Grassley says Democrats staged a reckless, 28-hour voting marathon.
Grassley also blasted the Senate’s Democratic leader for scheduling votes this weekend after indicating months ago that the Senate would be on recess, forcing Grassley to miss a family reunion he had scheduled. Grassley’s opponent, Democrat Mike Franken, says Grassley should try deploying for a year, as Franken did in the Navy. Franken also criticized Grassley for voting against capping the price of insulin at 35 dollars a month for Americans with private insurance. Franken says Grassley voted to protect drug industry profits, while Iowans will continue to pay sky high prices for insulin.
IOWA TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
The Iowa Department of Transportation Commission meets Tuesday in Sioux City. The public input agenda of the meeting will include remarks from Lesley Martholomew, the representing the Plywood Trail. This is the recreation trail proposed to connect Sgt Bluff, Sioux city, and Le Mars. Other speakers will include Orange City’s Public Works Director Matt Van Schouwen, Cherokee economic development director Bill Anderson, Buena Vista County Engineer Bret Wilkensen, sand Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott.
Both of Iowa’s Republican senators voted against a package of tax changes and spending on climate and energy projects. The measure passed by a 51-50 vote. The three Iowa Republicans in the HOUSE are also criticized the bill. Congresswoman Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Marion, says Democrats should pump the brakes and start over.
The I-R-S commissioner says the agency will target tax avoidance by corporations and wealthy Americans, but will not increase audits of returns with income below 400-thousand dollars. The agency also plans to upgrade its 35-year-old computer system. Hinson says quicker processing of tax returns should be the priority.
Hinson says a congressional committee that reviews tax-related legislation has concluded that going after misreported business activities could primarily impact low income Americans.
Hinson objects to rules that already went into effect in January that require mobile payment apps like Venmo and PayPal to report business transactions of more than six-hundred-dollars to the I-R-S.
A project that anticipates US Highway 75 improvements in Sioux Center was approved by the city coucnil last week. This project would widen 16th street SW and 1st Ave SW, near Dairy Queen and Walmart in Sioux Center. The project includes two lanes east and west on 16th Street, and sidewalks on both sides of the roadway. The work on the street and intersection will begin in early fall, and is to be completed by mid-November.
The reconstruction of US Highway 75 will begin next year, and will be completed by 2025. This project will extend from 20th Street South to 12th Street North. The roadway will be converted into four traffic lanes with turning lanes and medians.
The pending merger of Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern would eventually triple the amount of train traffic through parts of eastern and southern Iowa. Canadian Pacific spokesperson Andrew Cummings says that the railroad has plans to add sidings, extend existing sidings, and add electronic signaling systems – all to expand capacity so additional trains can be handled. The merger would create the only single-line railroad linking Canada, the U-S, and Mexico. Canadian Pacific owns a line that extends from Sheldon to Mason City in northern Iowa.
HOMICIDE SUSPECT CHARGED
The man accused of killing four people and setting two separate house fires in Laurel last week is being charged with first-degree murder. Officials say 42-year-old Jason Jones was arrested on Friday after investigators found several receipts in a backpack inside of a home that was attacked. Jones was reportedly found with severe burns on much of his body. The investigation is ongoing.
Sioux Falls has a new single-day rainfall record. Weather officials say over five-inches of rain fell before noon Sunday. The previous daily record was sent on August 1st, 1975 at just over four-and-a-half inches. Minnehaha County was under a flash flood warning for much of the morning.
POLLOCK PAINTING RETURNS
After a near-decade long world tour, the Jackson Pollock (PAUL-ick) oil painting simply known as “Mural” is back in Iowa and will return to public display later this month. Lauren Lessing, director of the University of Iowa’s Stanley Museum of Art, says if Mural were a person, its passport would show at least 14 new venues and it would have earned more than 20-thousand frequent flier miles. The oil painting was produced in 1943 and measures eight feet high by 20 feet long. Lessing first saw Mural in 2004 and says it was breathtaking to see it again more recently after it was painstakingly cleaned and restored at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles. Pollock was commissioned to create Mural by legendary art collector Peggy Guggenheim, who donated the piece to the University of Iowa in 1951.